THE Curriculum Development Department (CDD), Ministry of Education (MoE) and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in publishing the Education and Minda Bestari columns to help students to enhance their skills in answering examination questions.
The partnership is another effort of the private and public sectors, including the community and parents, in fulfilling the aim of achieving better grades for students in public examinations, especially in the Primary School Assessment (PSR) where this year, the MoE aims to achieve the national target of 79 per cent of students achieving Grades A – C and subsequently 90 per cent of students achieving Grades A – C in 2017.
Such exercises will enable the students to be equipped with High Order Thinking (HOT) as well as be more prepared to face examination questions, Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Nawi, the Director of Curriculum Development, said yesterday during the signing of the MoU at the Main Hall of the new MoE building.
Present to witness the signing were Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, the Minister of Education, as well as Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar, Deputy Minister of Education, and other senior officers of the MoE and Brunei Press.
The MoU was signed by Haji Abdul Rahman on behalf of the MoE witnessed by Acting Senior Special Duties Officer at the CDD, Hajah Badriah binti Haji Saidin, while Brunei Press was represented by General Manager, Reggie See, witnessed by Senior Finance and Operations Manager Suzie Houng.
The columns will appear once a week in both Borneo Bulletin and Media Permata from July 2016 until July 2018, with Brunei Press providing a page in the Bulletin and a two-page spread in Media Permata for the respective columns.
The Bulletin will publish the column every Thursday, while Media Permata will publish the column every Friday. Both days were specifically chosen as Friday is a public holiday, giving time for parents or family members to monitor and guide their children in carrying out the activities that appear in the columns.
Haji Abdul Rahman said the idea of publishing education columns in the newspaper was initiated during discussions with Brunei Press on the ways where the public and private sectors can work together to promote education in the country.
At the same time, parents and family members too can have the opportunity to engage themselves more in their children’s education.
The collaboration between the two parties is not the first as the CDD had worked with Brunei Press a few years back on a project called ‘Newspaper in Education for ‘N’ Level and ‘O’ Level English’.
“CDD and Brunei Press had mutual discussions on how the public and private sectors can work in partnership to promote education in our country. Hence, the idea of publishing the columns Education in Borneo Bulletin and Minda Bestari in Media Permata was initiated,” he said.
He said the CDD feels that the effort will serve as a good avenue to disseminate information to students as well as parents and the general public. It has been agreed that CDD will decide on the educational materials to be published.
He added that materials to be published will be related to subject matters under the purview of CDD and can be in the form of questions and answers, guidance materials such as on how to answer certain types of essays, articles on certain issues or promotional materials on activities of the MoE covering both primary and secondary levels.
Feedback and suggestions to improve further in ensuring quality of content are always welcome, he added.
The collaboration is in line with the effort to achieve Brunei’s Vision 2035 when Brunei Darussalam will be recognised everywhere for the accomplishments of its well-educated and highly skilled people, the quality of life and the dynamic and sustainable economy.
“I am very pleased that we have a chance to play a role in this worthwhile effort and thanks to everyone working towards making this collaborative effort a successful one,” he said.
He said that CDD will ensure that all programmes, projects and materials published will be in line with MoE’s vision and national aspirations upholding the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) concept and Zikir Nation.
Meanwhile, Brunei Press General Manager Reggie See said the company feels greatly privileged to have the opportunity to work with CDD to promote education in Brunei through its newspapers.
“The signing also reflects Brunei Press’ objective to inform and educate the readers of Borneo Bulletin and Media Permata. For instance, we publish regularly the ‘Share your Story’ and ‘Sunday High School’ columns to promote literacy and writing,” he said.
Quoting the former minister of education’s speech during the 3rd National Education Forum, he said primary education is an important component of one’s education and its content curriculum and activities provides the necessary foundation for secondary education.
Reggie See also noted that it is the company’s corporate duty to contribute to Brunei Vision 2035 and present another avenue through newspapers to encourage readers with school-going children to take advantage of published material on MIB, Malay, English, Science and Mathematics to tutor their children.
“The public material will also complement the efforts of teachers who use it to guide their students to improve their respective PSR results,” he concluded.